(November 12, 2013) Having friends in the right places has helped Will Wilson to his next sports broadcasting job. An STAA client, Wilson is joining KHQA-TV in Quincy, IL as a weekday sports reporter / weekend sports anchor.
“Starting at KHQA in Quincy is really a dream come true,” says Wilson. “Not only am I at a great station that covers three different states in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, but I get to be around some of the most passionate high school sports fans in the country. The relationships I will build through the community is one of the things I’m most excited about.”
Wilson learned about the opening through a former classmate who now works at the station. He immediately sent his demo and resume to KHQA News Director Nora Baldner. Wilson explains, “She responded right away but explained to me they had just been bought by a different broadcast company and weren’t allowed to hire someone just yet, but she’d keep my resume on her desk.”
Wilson maintained twice-monthly contact with Baldner, patiently asking if the hiring freeze had been lifted. “Finally, after a month, I emailed her and she quickly responded to set up an interview. I kept reviewing the interview tips [sent to me] from STAA until they became second nature. Luckily, everything just clicked and the interview went great.”
Once the job offer came, Wilson was ready to go. “I had kept all my clothes in the garage along with a storage unit holding my bed, couches and dressers so I could be ready to go immediately when I got the call. It helped me to have that mentality that I was going to be leaving at any second. You don’t want to get complacent AT ALL during your job search in this business.”
Wilson is eager to polish his skills in an environment he truly enjoys. “I’ll be able to co-host different highlight shows as well as anchor and report,” he says. “It’s going to help me craft my skills and learn how to do it all. KHQA just felt right when I visited the station for the first time. I didn’t feel uncomfortable and felt right at home. I knew right then and there this was the perfect fit.”
Wilson’s advice to other job seekers is to stay strong. “If you’re not willing to cold-call news directors, show up on station doorsteps, get rejected or be willing to separate yourself from other competitors, don’t even both putting yourself through the pain. If you’re tough enough to pursue your dream, you need to have a mentality that forces you to never quit. Do everything possible to keep the momentum in your favor and make yourself feel like your getting closer to landing a job.”
A 2011 graduate of Duquesne University, Wilson earned his Masters in Journalism from DePaul this past summer. He has been an STAA client since August. “STAA and Jon Chelesnik were right there by my side the entire way,” he says. “STAA has been a major help in me landing the job, and sticking with the process has been key. The interviews tips I received and the group chats have been extremely beneficial.
“I would recommend STAA to anyone who is pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. Thank you for always being there and giving me advice. I really appreciate it; I can’t wait to start my gig! This is only the beginning!”
(Visit Will’s STAA Talent Page).